Well this is my third blog and I have to start with an apology, and a big apology to England captain Andrew Strauss. In an interview last week about Englands chances I said they have a good chance if they qualify for the knock out stage. I did go on to say that I'm not sure I would have Andy opening the batting!! Well I think he has shut me up. What a fantastic game of cricket, what a brilliant run chase and what a performance by the England team. The confidence they will have gained will be a huge bonus. Don't forget the last time they played India in India they took one hell of a beating. This side under Strauss seems tougher with a winning mentality.
The key is getting enough points to qualify for the knock out stage and build momentum. Exactly what they did in the T20 world cup.
There have been some good matches so far, the India V England game the best. We have also seen the Pakistan team show what they are capable of. You right them off at your peril and they are just as likely to score 350 as they are be bowled out for under a 100. This next ten days should see everybody except Treddy arriving back in the country. Tred won't be back until England are out of the competition. Everybody else will be in on the 11th March for the fitness testing. Pete Kelly has a pretty good idea of how most will get on. He has been providing all the players with monthly programmes. He has also been to Australia to work with Colesy, Joe and Sam. Everybody has been given the best possible help to report fit and strong for a tough summer ahead. Gone are the days of dusting your kit off from the garage in late March. I once opened my bag late one winter to find my inner gloves chewed up, my box up turned with the bits of cotton inners providing a warm home for two mice.
The old days of pre season was three weeks of cross country running in the morning at the University, followed by nets at the ground, oh how things have changed.
I am looking forward to pre season, the chance to be outside and feel the grass under your feet. There is only some many indoor sessions you can have. Andy Pierson and his team have done a great job getting the nets ready and the bottom of the square ready for middle practice. The lucky thing we have at Canterbury is team of groundstaff who help us get on the ground if at all possible. You hear horror stories from other clubs about not being allowed on. We benefit from having people who understand the players needs and do all they can to get us out there. The wickets have been covered for a few weeks now and although they are a little soft, some nice days before the 14th and we should be ok.
At least one team wearing blue has some silverware, shame they are not my team, but might keep the gunners grounded for a bit. Orient to complete a miracle!! Who knows.